— AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - A senior British general in
the Gulf said on Monday that "Chemical Ali," Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein's cousin and commander of the southern region, was probably
killed when U.S. planes bombed his house.
"We suspect he (Ali Hassan al-Majid) probably was killed in that
strike," Major General Peter Wall, chief-of-staff for British forces
in Iraq, told Reuters at headquarters in Qatar.
"A large part of his entourage, including bodyguards, have been
The U.S. military has said the body of Majid's bodyguard was
found after the bombing in Basra on Saturday but was unsure if Majid
himself was dead -- U.S. officials believed he had entered the
building at the time the air strike was ordered.
Iraq's information minister denied the bombs killed Majid, who
gained his nickname after Saddam's forces used poison gas on Kurdish
villages in rebellious northern areas in 1988.
U.S.-led forces have been hunting Majid across southern Iraq,
where troops have limited Iraqis' freedom of movement.
Last Monday, U.S. Marines launched a dawn raid on the town of
Shatra after receiving intelligence he was there. U.S. troops also
had information he was working out of a hospital in the city of
Nassiriya, where a week ago special forces rescued prisoner-of-war
Private First Class Jessica Lynch.
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